"Soft" has erotic content and is intended for those 18 years of age or older who are not offended by erotic content.
"Soft" originally appeared in Ophelia's Muse.
He watched as she swayed her hips and caressed her breasts behind a curtain of rice paper.
"Close your eyes," she whispered.
He obeyed, waiting in blackness, deafened by his own heartbeat, though he strained to hear her footsteps as she approached.
Her fingertip touched the throbbing pulse in the pit of his throat before she tugged a scarf of perfumed silk across his face.
Though blinded, he envisioned her narrow eyes lined with grease pencil, so dark against porcelain skin. Her hair hung in a black braid down her back and past the curve of her buttocks, like the tail of a sweet demon.
"Love me," she whispered, her breath soft against his lips. It carried the scent of mint leaves. She was a princess. Forbidden. "Love me."
"I'm sworn to protect you," he rasped, almost choked by restrained desire as her fingertips danced across his abdomen and clasped the sword that would bring his death as surely as the katana's blade.
"Protect me from my fear. Show me the unknown."
"No." He grasped her shoulders, his heart pounding and breathing ragged as if he'd just fought a hundred warriors. Her skin felt like warm satin beneath his callused palms. Couldn't she see what she did to him? Couldn't she sense it? His entire life had been spent training, fighting battles. He lived by a code of honor, but since he'd found her that day, bathing naked in a pond amidst birds and water flowers, his thoughts had been anything but honorable.
Still, he'd waited with his back turned, his cock as hard as metal beneath his armor, while she dressed. He'd lifted her onto his horse and brought her home, leading his mount. Sharing a horse with a princess was unacceptable. Her father had sent him looking for the young runaway because he implicitly trusted his finest Samurai.
From that moment he'd loved her, ached for her. Now, faced with her delicate touch and heated advances, his control crumbled.
"Your family has served mine for generations," she said. "You've fought for me, guarded me. Now I ask you to serve me in another way."
He stepped back, surprised his legs still supported him, and ripped the red silk scarf from his eyes. Drawing a sharp breath, he stared at her soft, naked curves. Large, brown nipples tipped her small breasts. Her belly was slightly rounded, her thighs firm, her calves shapely. She stared at him through black lashes, part lady, part tease.
"I shouldn't have come here." He turned to leave, but she dropped to her knees. Wrapping her arms around his waist, she pressed her cheek against the ginger spirals at his groin. Her lips brushed his cock.
"I've never had to beg for anything, but I beg you now," she said. "Stay with me tonight and escape with me tomorrow."
He thought his heart would fly through his chest. Leave? With her? Abandon all he believed in and destroy both their lives?
"If you hadn't come to me that day at the pond, I would have killed myself." Her tears fell on his cock like a moist caress. "That is why I went there. I hate my life. I hate the seclusion, the protection that strangles my soul. I love you."
"Don't speak that way!"
"Why not? It's true." She tilted her face up to his. Tears, blackened by the grease pencil lines, streaked her pale cheeks. Her lips parted, quivering.
He sank to his knees, holding her to his chest, their naked limbs entwined.
He kissed her forehead, her damp eyelids, and finally the mouth he'd longed to taste. His eyes slipped shut as his tongue traced the shape of her lips. She uttered a soft sound and clung to him, her fingertips gripping the muscles of his back. He caressed her breasts and left a wet trail of kisses across her belly and thighs.
Their joining was first a smooth sweep of a hard warrior's body over the softness of a noblewoman's, then it was the fierce pounding of lust driven animals.
They rested, sweaty flesh on sweaty flesh. He brushed a loose tendril of hair from her cheek and ran his fingertip over her kiss bruised lips.
Finally he stood and reached for his clothes. "Prepare yourself. We'll leave before dawn."
Her gaze burned his back as he left.
* * *
"How sad," the members of the noble families said on the morning of the princess' departure. "And who would have suspected?"
"He served their family so bravely."
"Like his father, grandfather, and great grandfather before him."
"Who would have thought he would kill her and then kill himself?"
No one knew if, with the last of his strength, he'd used his blood or hers to write one symbol across the curtain of rice paper: Soft.
Copyright 2001 Kate Hill
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